Aspiring allrounders given hope by Watson

By Rob Forsaith,


52 Have your say

    For Shane Watson the decision to take a break from bowling would have been heartbreaking.

    For the likes of Dan Christian and Moises Henriques it’s provided fresh hope of a maiden Test cap.

    Christian and Henriques, who have both played Twenty20 and one-day cricket for Australia, are among the list of allrounders who have come into contention for the Ashes after Watson elected to focus on batting.

    National selectors are expected to field a spinning allrounder in the upcoming Test tour of India.

    However many pundits have called for a medium-pace all-round option for the Ashes battle that follows, with the feats of Andrew Flintoff in 2005 still fresh in their minds.

    Mitchell Johnson performed the role at the SCG Test, but some have questioned whether his batting will hold up against a more fearsome bowling attack.

    It leaves an open field, even more so given Andrew McDonald’s injury concerns.

    Henriques felt he was more mentally ready for the rigours of international cricket, but didn’t want to get picked on potential.

    “Whether you’re a bowling allrounder or a batting allrounder, you can’t just be in the team as a bits-and-pieces player,” the 25-year-old said.

    “You’ve got to be good enough to be picked in the team as a bowler and a batter.

    “I’m hoping, with some better performances after Christmas, that I can prove that.”

    Christian, 12th man in two Tests last summer when Watson was sidelined, admitted he was a “bit disappointed” to be left out of Australia’s squad for the one-day series.

    However the 29-year-old was upbeat there would not be the same dearth of seam allrounders in future Australian Test teams.

    “If they are looking for that allrounder position, I’d love to do it if I’ve got the runs and wickets behind me,” Christian said.

    “Personally I don’t think a spinning allrounder is the best way to go. You need a seam allrounder and there’s quite a few of those around the country.”

    Henriques impressed with a tally of 314 runs and 13 wickets from four matches in the first half of the Sheffield Shield season, but didn’t want selectors to call him until he had a mountain of both.

    “I’m 25 and happy to keep learning my craft … as much as I’d love to play for Australia as soon as possible, I’m not in any great rush to get there,” he said.

    “If I do get there, I want to make sure I’m playing as well as I can.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • January 9th 2013 @ 6:21am
      JamieJ said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:21am | ! Report

      I must confess I haven’t seen a great deal of Henriques’ bowling, but what I have seen of Chrustian suggests to me that he simply isn’t incisive enough with the ball to be a genuine test option. He is also a bit short in the batting department for mine.

      I think that McD ahould definitely be front of the queue for the all-rounder slot if one is picked. But two who also shouldn’t be discounted are the Jameses-Faulkner and Hopes. Faulkner is for mine the best swing bowler in the country and can absolutely run through teams on his day. His batting is short on big innings, but he puts together plenty of 50’s and would be more than handy batting below Wade at 7. Hopes is a bit of a left field choice, but I dont think that he’d let any one down.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 5:04pm
        matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

        Old Jimmy Hopes is a bit long in the tooth now, but he would have been worth a shot a few years back when he was a regular in the one day team. I think Luke Butterworth is another possibility, and if Mitchell Marsh can get his head and body right he could turn out to be the best of them all.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 6:55am
      WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:55am | ! Report

      in 2009 Mcdonad got picked as our genuine no 6 all rounder. This was as a reaction to the fact we did not bowl south africa out twice and lost a home test series. With his inclusion and a more balanced side we won three from four against them.

      then we went to engalnd and for some reason we reverted back to the ludicrous 6 specialist batsman and no allrounder. We scored 8 of the 10 centuries in the series. whoopididoo beacuse surprise surprise apart from on one seamer friendly deck we could not take the necessary 20 wickets a test to win a test series…. we also made the monumental error of going into the 5th test without a recognised spinner…. Swann took 8 wickets in that test….. we looked like fools!

      Henriques is wrong. The all rounder does not need to be picked in the side as a batter or a bowler. he needs to be picked as the all rounder. historically an all rounder to have had a successful career needs to average in the 30’s with the bat and around 30 with the ball give or take. Neither of these would necessarily see them picked a s a batter or a bowler…. but the all rounder simply needs to contribute his role. thats what wins test matches and series. Contribution.

      if we look at Botham and flintoff… neither would’ve made the side for either their batting and bowling. It was the package that got them selected and it was their contribution with bat abd ball that often got england over the line against us.

      Botham: Batting average: 33.54…. bowling average: 28.40
      Flintoff: batting Average: 31.77….. bowling average: 32.76

      My point is we need to stop expecting our no 6 to average 50 with the bat and 20 with the ball. 30 and 30 is all we need. anything better is a bonus.

      now many argue that our greta sides ie the warne and mcgrath era played without a no 6 all rounder. true… in those days because w ehad so many stars we didn’t need one. this current side needs one in order to contribute to consistently taking 20 wickets in good time and not at the expense of the odd match winning partnership.

      henriques so far this year is averaging 75 with the bat and 17 with the ball…. he’s the man for the ashes at no 6.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 10:27am
        Pope Paul VII said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:27am | ! Report

        Botham tailed off badly in both fields. He was a proper bat though 14 100s wasn’t it. And that was the key to him batting in the top six.

        Moisies tops but his 100 came on a highway.

        I see your point about McDonald going from SA winning to not playing ashes.

        Ponting and Huss were two of the greats, deemed irreplaceable by Clarkey. So it seems they aren’t going to bother.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 1:15pm
          WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

          14 hundreds from 102 matches. If he were a batsman that did not bowl he’d not have been in the side.

          its not a criticism its an example of how all rounders contribute with the bat and ball but rarely are they selected just for one or the other. they are a package.

          many fans on this site don’t want an all rounder because they don’t top averages with bat and or ball. thats foolish. an average side needs an all rounder.

          if they can chip in with the odd hundred and the odd five for, plus generally chip in with 30 and a couple of wickets they are a vital cog for success.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 5:05pm
            matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

            If you look at Botham’s early career pre injuries he was definitely a gun bowler and at one point held the world recrds for wickets taken

          • January 9th 2013 @ 5:08pm
            matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:08pm | ! Report

            On your criteria, Watson is just perfect, and if fit that’s actually true. Henriques has one century in his first class career. No chance yet (but he is still in his mid twenties so he may yet come good).

            If you want an alrounder for the Ashes at this point you only have a few options:
            – McDonald at 6 if fit
            – Wade at 6 and Butterworth or Faulkner at 7
            – Maxwell at 6 if he turns out to be a gun

            • January 9th 2013 @ 6:16pm
              WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:16pm | ! Report

              yes watson is a fine allrounder with a good record as such.

              but he’s not going to be bowling anymore apparently.

              if we play an extra batsman at the expense of a genuine all rounder in england it will do four fifths of f all as it did in 2009.

              who that all rounder is time will tell.

              at the moment it seems wade is being picked as the no 6 bat so that we can play an extra front line bowler. i don’t mind that as long as we don’t kid ourselves that johnson is going to average no ore than 20 odd.

    • January 9th 2013 @ 7:49am
      Sailosi said | January 9th 2013 @ 7:49am | ! Report

      Unfortunately for Henriques and Christian their bowling isn’t good enough to be considered the third seamer which means if they are going to be the fourth or fifth bowler they need to bar in the top 6 and their batting isn’t quite up to this at test level.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [].

      • January 9th 2013 @ 8:15am
        WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        i dont think you get what an allrounder is

        • January 9th 2013 @ 8:20am
          Red Kev said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          I don’t think you understand what a decent cricket team looks like.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 9:01am
          Sailosi said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:01am | ! Report

          In the last 40 years the best and most successful allrounders have all been dominant in one discipline i.e Khan, Dev, Hadlee, Kallis, Botham and Akram. Dev was Indias best bowler for the entirity of his career, Hadlee was Nz’s best bowler for the entirity of his career, both Khan and Akam were the best Pakistan bowlers of their generation and Kallis was the best South African batsman of hs carer. It could be argued that of these players Imran Khan would ahve been the only player worthy of selection for his batting and bowling alone.

          As for your point that Botham wouldn’t have been selected for his bowling alone , are you kidding. Apart from the early part of his career when Bob Willis was Englands top bowler, Ian Botham was the best English bowler by a mile. He would be in the top 10 English bowlers ever. 383 wickets @ 28 with 27 five wicket hauls would suggest this.

          You say that 30 and 30 is all we need. Those players don’t fall off trees. Not many allrounders have averaged around 30 and 30 over a career of more than 20 tests.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 9:18am
            Mark said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:18am | ! Report

            Oh c’mon botham was a medium pacer. If he didn’t bat he’d not have played a test match.

            • January 9th 2013 @ 10:11am
              Gav said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

              After Fred Trueman, he’s the best English post war bowler. I think somehow he would have played for England if he couldn’t bat.

            • January 9th 2013 @ 5:10pm
              matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

              Mark maybe you did not get to see the young Botham pre injuries, etc. He was a brilliant swing bowler

          • January 9th 2013 @ 9:39am
            WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            Botham played over 100 test matches so the actual amount of wickets was not particularly high although it was very good. The reason he played so many test in roder to be in the side to take 3.75 wickets a match was down to the fact he offered something with the bat at no 6. His 27 five wicket hauls is amazing and exactly my point. He generally contributed and every now and then had an exceptional spell. As a medium pacer he would never have kept his place if he was a batting bunny and would probably never have played a test… and what a shame that would’ve been.

            Kapil Dev: bat ave: 31.05 bowl ave: 29.64 (the prototypical all rounder. He was not their best bowler… he simply was their best seamer at a time where india only bothered with producing spinners)

            Imran: bat ave: 37.69 bowl ave: 22.81 (the best all rounder of the 80’s)

            Hadlee: bat ave 27.16 bowl ave: 22.29 (frankly Hadlee was a great bolwer that was more than handy with the bat… but not an allrounder)

            kallis: bat ave 56.94 bowl ave 32.45 (i wont argue this to the teeth but IMHO I think Jacques over the years has morphed more into a batsman that bowls than a genuine all rounder. doesn’t bowl enough nor has he taken enough wickets… less than 2 per test to be considered a genuine all rounder.. a bloody brilliant bat and a bloody brilliant cricketer though)

            Akram: bat ave 22.64 bowl ave: 23.62 9 (not an all rounder…in the same way that mitchell johnson is not an all rounder)

            • January 9th 2013 @ 11:27am
              Gav said | January 9th 2013 @ 11:27am | ! Report

              Botham took his first 200 test wickets at 21, he’s getting in the England team for his bowling alone. If he couldn’t bat who were the 4 English bowlers better than Botham?

            • January 9th 2013 @ 11:42am
              Pope Paul VII said | January 9th 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              Your in danger of disappearing in a puff of logic. These are all exceptional cricketers.

              Kapil was a near genius considering what he bowled on. Botham often batted five.

              And guess which one scored 57 in his first 7 test innings at 8.14, in his primary role?

              • January 9th 2013 @ 2:06pm
                WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

                actually read the comment please

            • January 9th 2013 @ 3:47pm
              Dadiggle said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

              Over 200 wickets in ODI and test matches. Kallis is SOuth Africa’s swing bowler the others are seamers. He comes in take a wicket here and there but that wicket will most of the time be a batsman who was part of a long partnership or had dug himself in. That is why his nickname is Ever Ready. .Kallis is batting better thanks to Amla. He always batted under instructions and played the anchor role and when Amla arrived he was given freedom to play the way he really plays. That slow batting Kallis is not te natural one. That was Kallis under team orders

              • January 9th 2013 @ 4:17pm
                WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

                if you play enough games you’ll take lots a wickets if indeed you can bowl…. and there is no doubt he can bowl. only five 5 wicket hauls in 159 matches suggests hes not bad with the ball but not great either…

                kallis is still a decent bowler but for mine he hasn’t been a genuine all rounder for some time. he’s a batsman that can offer a little bit with the ball.

                i want to be clear he’d be just about my first pick player in my team of this century… but only as a batsman that can bowl a bit… not as my all rounder.

                my no 6 and all rounder of this century would be the completely under rated Chris Cairns who IMHO was like having a Freddie Flintoff that actually took bags of five fors.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 5:12pm
          matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

          You’re wrong WW. With our current batting line up we cannot afford to give up one of the 6 spots to a 30 average (although with Cowan we appear to already be doing so). The allrounder for us probably needs to be a batting allrounder like McDonald unless we are confident that Wade can play 6 and contribute a 45 plus average. A bowling allrounder is a waste for us at the moment becasue pace bowling is where our depth is.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 6:13pm
            WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

            oh have the changed the laws to such that we no longer need to take 20 wickets? beacuse last time i checked playing against south africa and england thats been the problem.

            we need a fourth seamer particularly a medium pacer that will suit english conditions… the pace bowling we have is completely over-rated otherwise why did we not beat south africa at home nor beat england these past 2 series? don’t get me wrong we have a lot of decent pace bowlers but none of them at the moment are a dennis lillee or a glen mcgrath capable of winning tests pretty much on their own. If for example Peter Siddle is our best pace man we are in big trouble come the ashes.

            i don’t think we should ever play an extra batsman at the expense of our bowling attack unless we have a bowling attack with players in the ilk of mcgrath and warne… which currently we don’t.

            as for giving up one of the 6 spots… this is only new phenomenon that a no 6 needs to be a specialist batsman. a no6 does not need to average more than 35. Keith Miller averaged 36…. he is widely regarded as our best ever all rounder and would be an automatic pick in our best ever 11 and yes he would be picked at no 6.

            if the top 5 don’t produce the goods then they are the wrong top 5.

            plus lets not forget most of our tailenders cna all hold the bat. a specialist batsman at no 6 is foolish.

    • Roar Guru

      January 9th 2013 @ 8:01am
      peeeko said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Christian is nowhere good enough for test cricket. averages below 30 with the bat in shield cricket

    • Roar Guru

      January 9th 2013 @ 8:52am
      DingoGray said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:52am | ! Report

      I really don’t under “Australia’s” fixation with finding and having to play a genuine all rounder.

      In world cricket at the moment how many general allrounders are there?

      I can only think of 1- Kallis………

      Australia’s issue at the moment is clearly the batting….By picking an all rounder ( one who’s not outstanding at either)
      your just further exposing your main weakness!

      Having said that, Henriques has shown to be in fantastic form this season. If he continues to impress in the 2nd half of the summer in the 4 day format I can’t see why he can’t be taken on the Indian / Ashes tour. What I’ve seen so far he’s certainly a better option than Maxwell!

      • January 9th 2013 @ 8:57am
        Paul said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:57am | ! Report

        Maxwell is not an allrounder, his bowling may contain in T20 but won’t work in test cricket, and his batting needs more work, not sure why we are even considering him for the Indian tour.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 8:59am
        Mark said | January 9th 2013 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        Add Bresnan and the two best sides in world cricket have an all rounder.

        Last time I checked we have to be able to bowl out South Africa and England twice each game. It’s not all about scoring runs. It’s a balance.

        • Roar Guru

          January 9th 2013 @ 9:53am
          DingoGray said | January 9th 2013 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          Yeah Bresnan has good numbers. But he’s not a permanent fixture in the England side.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 10:28am
        Felix said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:28am | ! Report

        I think Australia’s fixation with an all rounder stems from the shakiness of the top order and our lack of out and out class in the strike bowling department.

        Wade has been selected over superior glovemen in the country because his batting is more solid than theirs (allegedly). So this alone shows the predisposition to boosting the batting order, albeit at the expense of someone who has actually seen spin bowling before. The gaping holes in experience left by messrs Ponting and Hussey has left us with a top order devoid of experience.

        The concern is clearly that a few quick wickets fall and we have a lofty tail – enter the need for the all rounder. Arthur has said he wants one, Clarke is petrified to play a test without Lyon (barring Perth) so we now have selectors scouring all the way down to under 17 cricket looking for this mythical beast. They clearly want someone they can toss the ball to when their strike bowlers haven’t taken early wickets as well.

        I think that if we had a rock solid top order scoring regular runs and a bowling attack that was consistently applying pressure we could stick to the old fashioned best 6, best keeper, best 4 team and ditch the search for Kallis.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 10:38am
          Red Kev said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:38am | ! Report

          It is actually a weakness in Clarke’s captaincy. He is scared to not have an allrounder and to not have Lyon to lift his over rate. He needs to bowl himself more (AB bowled himself a lot in the roll of drying up runs / breaking partnerships) and shouldn’t be scared to chuck the ball to guys like Warner or Khawaja or Hussey (or whoever makes the side). 2-3 overs of a part timer is often all that is needed to help an established bowler at the other end get a wicket.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 4:38pm
            Felix said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

            Good point RK. I think he should be bowling himself and Warner a hell of a lot more. Warner lands them alright, and with a bit of solid coaching and practice could go beyond casual part timer to a 6 overs + an innings bowler. I mean he got Amla out stumped…which is a miracle given Wade’s keeping ability!

            • January 9th 2013 @ 5:17pm
              matt h said | January 9th 2013 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              With Clarke’s dodgy back I am happy to give up on his bowling to ensure he is fit to bat. If Clarke is missing from the batting order we are seriously screwed

    • January 9th 2013 @ 10:36am
      Pope Paul VII said | January 9th 2013 @ 10:36am | ! Report

      Bresnan is not a good enough bat for top six. Maybe 7 if they gamble but if Ando, Finn, Tremlett, Broad are all fit they are ahead of him.

      He also nicked wickets off Tremlett at Melbourne. Good luck to him but in the olden days Tremlett would have taken 7.

      • January 9th 2013 @ 1:19pm
        WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 1:19pm | ! Report

        is that the only game bresnan’s ever played?

        he averages 30 odd with bat and ball and bats 7 because they often play their keeper prior at 6.

        he is the perfect example of an all rounder.

        and no finn and tremlett are not ahead of him. they are not playing test cricket because bresnan is in the team.

        • January 9th 2013 @ 2:18pm
          Pope Paul VII said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

          Fair enough.

          Although an allrounder surrounded by batsmen like Ponting, Clarke and Hussey is better off than one plonked into a developing side.

          We will see how things pan out. Mickey Arthur is certainly leaning your way. Watto seems certain to return as a batsman and Maxwell will likely bat 7 in the first test.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 2:33pm
            Red Kev said | January 9th 2013 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            I wonder what excuse the selectors will give for not selecting Khawaja this time.

            • January 9th 2013 @ 3:52pm
              Pope Paul VII said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

              Looking forward to it. I think they have just about used up his role as Clarke’s standby. They can’t put him on standby for Watto because he will actually get a game. I’m going for “team balance”.

              • January 9th 2013 @ 4:05pm
                Praveen said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:05pm | ! Report

                Red Kev i am sure this time Khawaja will get selected, the fact they got him in the One day side shows they are rewarding performance. I think he will play a big part in the Indian series and the ashes.

            • January 9th 2013 @ 4:07pm
              Rob said | January 9th 2013 @ 4:07pm | ! Report

              Red Kev I am sure Khawaja is a certtain starter for the next test. At the moment he is going through a purple patch and we will be fools not to take him as Hussey’s replacement or Cowan’s replacement if Watson takes the opening slot. Looking forward to watching him bat in the One dayers.

          • January 9th 2013 @ 3:21pm
            WW said | January 9th 2013 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

            i have seen enough of maxwell to be convinced he should not be in the tests side.

            henriques IMHO should be earmarked for the ashes… but of course there is a long time until then. people think mitch marsh could be they guy going forward. there’s hastings as well.. so there are a few options. i just don’t see how 6 specialist batsman and a keeper batsman is needed particularly when we struggle to take 20 wickets against decent sides like SA and england.